Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers just released this week’s expected 5.4 patch titled Futures rewritten. With new advancements in history, heists, dungeons, and charming catboy hijinks galore, this update makes for an adorable, yet relaxed, distraction from the frustrating state of the world and the never-ending discourse about certain other games.
The last couple of updates brought many great changes to the world of Final Fantasy XIV for veterans and new players alike. Specifically, the last patch, Reflections in crystal (and the first patch since the ongoing coronavirus pandemic began) revamped much of the base game while also offering one of the franchise games best stories yet. But if reflections was the grand finale of the Shadowbringer Saga, Futures rewritten is the quiet beginning of a new chapter.
If Futures rewritten has a uniform theme, it’s about swinging with the homies. With the new exploration mode function, players can enter their favorites Shadowbringer Dungeons without any enemies, perfect for a lovely walk, fun photo shoot or dance party in the middle of a burning village. There’s also a new treasure dungeon, The Shifting Oubliettes of Lyhe Ghiah, where you and your group can test your luck and courage against ridiculous fae enemies for rare items.
The new content of the story is played through the main scenario as well as through new quests in the Eden Raid series. The last patch ended hopefully for The Scions of the Seventh Dawn. Not only did they save The First again by triumphing over the last of the undivided Ascians, Elidibus, but they eventually returned safely to their homeworld, The Source. But now our gang of heroes has a new member, ex-messianic crystal catboy G’raha Tia who has turned into a clumsy normal catboy, and this chapter really is his moment to shine.
Whereas Reflections in crystal was full of spectral warriors, false prophets and battles for the fate of a world Futures rewritten feels like a sitcom about you and your pals just screwing up and running errands. While the gist of the story is our heroes using their downtime to seek a cure for those who have been brainwashed by the Primordial Summon, it is mostly a series of weird adventures involving G’raha Tia der Star is.
G’raha Tia and the Warrior of Light try weakly to figure out the password to a magical computer ball they find. G’raha Tia secretly tries to summon crystals from pirates, but he is also a terrible liar. Even in the main dungeon of the patch, you collect ingredients by hitting large monsters so you can make a giant magical mommy pig for G’raha to infuse it with magic that cures the religious madness above and solves Eorzea’s version of colonialism, which too includes more pirates.
Only in the last moments of the patch does Fandaniel, the newly introduced, carefree Asian playmate of the returning villain and cheeky bishone scumbag dictator Zenos yae Galvus, instigate the new major conflict. But I have to say, none of these light dramas feels particularly undesirable. My white mage friend and I played through most of the patch’s story content on the night of its release and found that after all the fantasy drama and centuries of tragedies of Shadowbringer
No, the real meat of the patch is in the final chapter of the Eden Raid series, Eden’s Promise, which also serves as a sort of breakup for the Shadowbringer Arch that took place in the world of Norvrandt. Similar to the main story of the patch, it’s about bonding, with an emphasis on the very clearly romantic (though never pronounced as such) relationship between Ryne, the scion left behind in The First, and her mysterious friend Gaia, as well as the truths in Gaias is in the past tying her to Norvrandt’s centuries-old tragedy.
Though technically relegated to a side story, the Eden sequence definitely feels like the dramatic climax of the patch, which is why Ryne and Gaia are likely to feature in the main promotional art. The narrative is thoughtful, heartwarming, intoxicating, and frankly very gay! The two are constantly talking about how to share coffee cookies and how much they need each other. In every cutscene I shared with the couple, I felt like my Warrior of Light accidentally spun a friend’s date on the third wheel who they didn’t know was a date in an Oakland beer garden in time before the Covid was.
While very little of this new endgame content is as particularly difficult as previous Eden RaidsIt’s all a beautiful spectacle and I felt involved (I only speak for the normal robberies here; from videos I’ve seen the Wild Versions of each look as devastatingly difficult as ever). The final raid in particular mixes the narrative into the gameplay wonderfully, making this final fight all the more emotional.
All of this, along with a new review in the Sorrow of Werlyt range and a new Tomestone, ensures a cornucopia of content can be played, mastered with your friends, and ground for that sweetness FFXIV Gear drop. That being said, there are a few minor changes. There is a revision for the monk job, some new rules for Doman Mahjong and Triple Triad and a few simplifications of the user interface. In the upcoming smaller patches we can expect a revision and a level boost of the limited blue mage class, a successor to Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr Relic weapon seriesand the last part in the Ishgardian restoration Craft event that followed Skyward Saga.
You can read all of the new patch notes Here.
Chingy Nea is a writer, comedian, and critically acclaimed ex-girlfriend from Oakland and Los Angeles.